Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Troy, MI - I happen to stumble on this Thai restaurant called Bangkok Bistro Cafe. They had Pad Ma Ker on the menu, a dish I don't believe I had before. So, as you can see, it was one of the coconut curry dishes, but they prepared it differently that others I have had. This was much more creamy than what I was used to having. The main item is eggplant that is sauteed in the curry sauce. I about licked the plate clean. I would bet the restaurant owners thought I was crazy, it was so delicious. The creaminess was what made the dish a huge hit. The eggplant was also prepared perfectly, very tender and full of flavor. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Royal Oak, MI - Back to one of my favorite restaurants, Red Coat Tavern. I realize I do eat there too much! There is an appetizer that I've been wanting to try for so long, but it's not the healthiest option. It's the Scotch egg, which is a hard boiled egg, wrapped in ground sausage, then deep fried and served with spicy mustard. Can you stay heart attack? Well, that's exactly the reason why I couldn't have this all the time. So, I built up the courage for the artery cloger, and well, I have to say, it's worth it. I made it a little more healthy by not eating the yolk, but it probably would have been great as well. Not that it's any better not eating the yolk, the rest of it for you will surely still kill you. On the other hand, the deep fried sausage was delicious and when dipped into the spicy mustard, well, all I can say was that it was worth it. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Clawson, MI - Since the food was so good at Due Venti, we had to try desert as well. These are the two we had and did not regret any of the calories! :)

The first dish was Zeppole. These are fritters of ricotta cheese, eggs, spices, and flour, deep fried into a donut. It is served with warm espresso and dark chocolate sauce. This was total heaven. The fritters were served warm and almost melted in your mouth. Once you dipped it into the sauce, they were irresistible! This dessert is a must.

We also tried the Torta Barozzi, a flourless dark chocolate cake, made with ground almonds, butter, espresso, and peanuts. It is served with homemade mascarpone ice cream. Legend has it, this recipe was invented at a pasticceria in the village of Vignola, Italy in 1897. The cake was excellent. It is rich and full of flavor and not as dense as many flourless cakes though. I loved that it wasn't as dense as other cakes. The ice cream is the home run of the dish. It is absolutely worth getting again. It has a delicate flavor and you don't often have the opportunity to have ice cream made of mascarpone. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Clawson, MI - I always look for a locally owned restaurant and one in which cares about their community and environment. My friends took me to an Italian restaurant that is just that, called Due Venti. They purchase their food from local farmers and purchase organic when they can. Their passion for their food comes out in their presentation of the dishes, but also in the flavor and execution. These are all the dishes we shared, I hope you enjoy and take the time to make it out to Due Venti.

We started with the Fritelle Ripiene de Cavolflore, cauliflower cakes. They are pan fried in olive oil, have a hint of garlic for some extra flavor, and then served with tomato caponata and a garlic-herb aioli. Make this dish part of your repertoire. Don't miss this one. The aioli sauce highlights the cakes very well.

I am a garlic lover. I would put garlic in anything, so when we had the opportunity to have Zuppa Dell'aglio, garlic soup, I wasn't going to pass the opportunity. This is a garlic and sage housemade vegetable broth, topped with mozzarella and apple crostini. It didn't have as much garlic flavor as I was hoping, but for those casual garlic lovers, it would be perfect for you.
I ordered the Tortella di Carciofi, vegetarian ravioli. It is handmade white wine pasta filled with artichokes, carrots, garlic, pecorino, basil, and mascarpone cheese, tossed in a brown butter sauce and topped with shaved pecorino. The pasta is down-right delicious when it's made from scratch. The sauce compliments the pasta very well and I left nothing on this plate!
This is Torta della Melenzana, baked eggplant. If I could have changed my dish through the dinner, I would have changed it to this one. I tried this and really didn't want to return to my own. It is eggplant, layered in a tomato sauce, caciocavallo cheese, and topped with an egg and cream custard. Even though it is much heavier than the pasta dish, the flavor is very sophisticated and delicate at the same time. It's able to deliver the individual flavors of each component without being to heavy. This is one of the best dishes that night.

Lastly, we tried the Pesci Crostosi con Pistachio, sea bass. It is pistachio crusted sea bass, pan seared and served with a citrus butter, sauteed zucchini, garbanzo beans, mint, and crumbed goat cheese. This was my least favorite. The sea bass was prepared and seasoned well, but it was a very weak flavor. It didn't have enough impact as the other dishes. Standing alone, I thought it was good, but in comparison, it fell short. The vegetables on the side tasted very well though with the sauce, mint, and cheese.